The Juneau-Douglas Crimson Bears were in a battle on the ground and in the air Saturday night at Adair Kennedy Field. The visiting Henry Foss High School Falcons of Tacoma, Wash. had the advantage.
Missing from the Crimson Bears’ side of the field due to illness was speedy senior running back/defensive back Demetrius Campos.
Campos was just one of seven starters siting out the game, some due to an attack of bizarre Friday the 13th ailments, including one player with a bug bite on the eye and another who stepped into a pothole after practice.
Senior linebacker Derik Vance, junior lineman Michael Anderson, junior linebacker Nick Tragis, senior wide receiver/defensive back Semisi Maake and junior fullback/linebacker Romney Tupou all did not play.
Senior linebacker JD Hudson is still out with an injury.
“In a game that is a non-conference game where you are trying to still find out about kids I did not mind it in the sense that we got to explore some other options,” Juneau-Douglas coach Rich Sjoroos said. “I thought some different kids showed me something and that going forward we have some different personnel we can look at. That part I liked. Yeah we are licking our wounds today. Yeah, without one of the biggest playmakers in the state on the field, that hurts and is an obstacle. The kids understood they still had to show up and play football. We just struggled with turnovers and penalties.”
Even with 5 turnovers and 15 penalties the Crimson Bears found a path, even though it did not put them on the topside of the scoreboard.
Senior Eric Nordgren was featured with the ball more and may be granted more options down the stretch. Senior Noah McVay moved off the line to try fullback duties. Junior quarterback Dorian Isaak led a no-huddle system of play calling to save his energy.
“We did some things better this week even though it did not result in a win,” Sjoroos said. “Things that will give us some diversity going forward.”
The Henry Foss Falcons took the game’s first possession six plays, aided by two Crimson Bears penalties, for a touchdown.
JDHS followed with nine plays starting from their own 19-yard line. Five different Crimson Bears touched the ball, with play capped by a George Sua rumble into the end zone and a repeat play for a conversion score by the 210-pound senior fullback.
Quarterback Dorian Isaak scrambled to begin the march and a penalty by Foss kept the drive going two plays later.
When three penalty flags negated the ensuing Foss kick-off touchdown it seemed momentum was with JDHS, but the Falcons used a shifting two-point to three-point stance to draw the hosts into an offside and keep their second possession alive for a 12-8 lead.
“It was a little quirk in their line that is not uncommon,” Sjoroos said. “But we just kept jumping. Normally our discipline upfront has been our strength.”
A holding penalty in the second quarter negated another JDHS score.
Foss would tack on 23 additional points before the Crimson Bears found the end zone in the third quarter as Isaak bootlegged for six and Sua added his second two-point conversion to trail 35-16.
“If we are going to keep pace with the upper teams in the medium schools conference we have to keep getting better each week,” Sjoroos said. “We need to keep pace with them. We need to have some weeks where we do not have multiple penalties and turnovers. We need to play sharp football and not fall back on the attitude that if a game is a non-conference, out-of-state opponent it doesn’t mean anything. These games all mean something. More importantly, we need to get everybody healthy. With a small roster, being healthy is probably the biggest thing you deal with during the season.”
JDHS relied on the physical strength of Isaak in the second half, including a scramble leading to a pass to senior Kris Hill for their final score, cutting the lead to 41-22.
“We’ll find out a lot about our team tomorrow when we see what kind of demeanor they have in the film session and the practice,” Sjoroos said. “How they handle this will be important. Is it something that lingers and they start finger pointing? Or are they truly going to be that type of team we talk about, that sticks together no matter what and bounces back and becomes stronger.”
JDHS will host the Pemberton (B.C.) Grizzlies on Saturday at 8 p.m. on Adair Kennedy Field. The Thunder Mountain Falcons will travel to Kodiak.
How they scored:
8:54 HFHS: Devon Clark 3 yard run (kick no good) 0-6.
4:34 JDHS: George Sua 2 yard run (Sua 2pt conversion) 8-6.
:54 HFHS: Devon Clark 2 yard run (Michel Cocke’ pass from Littlejohn) 8-14.
3:53 HFHS: Malik Smith 2 yard run (conversion no good) 8-20.
: 27 HFHS: Patiole Pesefea 2 yard run (Keyon Lowery 2pt conversion 8-28.
6:24 HFHS: Chris Reynolds 19 yard pass from Littlejohn (Jones kick) 8-35.
5:04 JDHS: Dorian Isaak 1 yard run (Sua 2pt conversion) 16-35.
11:39 HFHS: Keyon Lowery 18 yard run (kick blocked) 16-41.
2:22 JDHS: Kris Hill 5 yard pass from Isaak (kick no good) 22-41.
Passing- Dorian Isaak 5-11 49 yards, TD, 2 INT’s.
Rushing- George Sua 7 carries 27 yards, TD; Dorian Isaak 9 carries 87 yards, TD; Eric Nordgren 4 carries 67 yards.
Receiving- Kris Hill 3 catches 34 yards, TD.
Defense- Eric Nordgren 7 tackles; Hunter Hickok 5 tackles, sack; Manase Maake 4 tackles, Interception.
Passing- Isaiah Littlejohn 7-14 102 yards, TD, INT.
Rushing- Devon Clark 7 carries 87 yards, 2 TD’s; Malik Smith 5 carries 13 yards, TD; Keyon Lowry 11 carries 73 yards, TD.
Receiving- Chris Reynolds 4 catches 42 yards, TD; Michel Cocke’ 3 catches 60 yards.
Defense- Nick Burton 9 tackles, Interception, forced fumble, fumble recovered; Devon Clark- 7 tackles.
JDHS- 217 total offensive yards / 12 first downs / 15 penalties, 65 yards / 5 turnovers.
HFHS- 378 total offensive yards / 17 first downs / 17 penalties, 85 yards / 1 turnover.